Village of Fredericton Junction

Elmo MacDonald

On October 16, 2021, Elmo MacDonald was inducted in the NB Country Music Hall of Fame as a 2021 Inductee. Accepting the award on his behalf were his children, Danny MacDonald at the afternoon ceremony then Heather and David MacDonald at the evening ceremony.
This is what was read aloud as his children accepted the award:
Elmo MacDonald was born on December 7, 1938 in Temperance Vale, NB. His family moved to Fredericton Junction in 1942 where he soon taught himself to play guitar. At the age of 18, he moved to Montreal to work for the CPR as a signal repairman and boarded with a family who had a piano which he learned to play by ear.
In 1959, Elmo married his high school sweetheart, Leah, who accompanied him to Montreal where they set up their home and had three children: Heather, David and Danny. In Montreal he discovered his favorite instrument to play, the mandolin, which also led him to making his first mandolin. In 1976, Elmo returned to Fredericton Junction and began to play with several local groups: the Coming Home Boys, the Villageaires, a mandolin group in Fredericton, and the Classical Mandolin Group in Nashville which required him to learn to read music in order to play in their orchestra.
He wrote over twenty-five songs and instrumentals and recorded several CDs. Elmo performed and attended many bluegrass festivals throughout the Maritimes and was instrumental in starting the Rusagonis Gospel Festival and the Route 101 Music Weekend in Hoyt, NB. He also performed for charities, church services, and senior homes.
Elmo made over 100 instruments, mostly mandolins and guitars but also a cello, a ukulele and a few others that are too unique to name! His luthier skills became known and musicians across the Maritimes and internationally sought his advice and bought his instruments. He conducted luthier workshops in Bermuda and was featured on the CBC documentary “Land and Sea”. After Elmo’s passing in 2015, his family discovered pictures of his instruments and comments about his craftsmanship posted on Websites, Twitter and Instagram. Many of the comments referred to the unbelievable rich tone and projection his mandolins achieved, the fine workmanship, and the uniqueness of his instruments, including the fact that he would tailor his design to accommodate how an individual played.
Although he was many things, Elmo is remembered most as the music man who loved the woods and his God.
Here is the link to the tribute to Elmo that was played at the 2021 NB Country Music Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony: https://youtu.be/tQXFxaVNvgs